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Summer 2005 Volume 6, Issue 5:
The International Myeloma Foundation’s CDC Initiative
By David Smith
The IMF is thrilled to have received a grant from the CDC to help in their efforts to increase awareness among African Americans regarding hematologic malignancies.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a three-year initiative, is funding programs that target specific populations on the importance of education and awareness regarding hematologic malignancies. The IMF is thrilled to have received a grant from the CDC to help in these efforts. Our educational grant is focused on communities that:
  • Have high incidence rates of multiple myeloma, com-pared to the general population;

  • Are underserved by other educational efforts;

  • Are located in inner-city areas of major metropolitan centers;

  • Could benefit from the IMF’s expertise in patient education.

Our Goals

  • Conduct outreach directed at African-Americans, the elderly, the underserved, the uninsured, and the under-insured;

  • Utilize an educational video, brochures, and response methods to educate and gauge the message reception and comprehension;

  • Encourage important steps in the patient’s medical deci-sion-making that can lead to an earlier diagnosis and improved education about treatment options;

  • Improve (and when necessary, redesign) those education-al materials that address the specific needs and concerns of the targeted communities.

Our Cities of Focus

The work plan approved by the CDC focuses on specific areas based upon myeloma incidence rates and the location of medical facilities available to address patients’ needs. At the present time, our efforts are concentrated in:

Atlanta, GA
Baltimore, MD
Birmingham, AL
Chicago, IL
Cleveland, OH
Detroit, MI
Jackson, MS
Los Angeles, CA
Newark, NJ
Oakland, CA
Philadelphia, PA
San Diego, CA
San Jose, CA
St. Louis, MO

Starting in September 2005, we will expand our efforts to also include:

Boston, MA
Charleston, SC
Houston, TX
Kansas City, MO
Miami, FL
Montgomery, AL
New Orleans, LA
New York, NY
Pittsburgh, PA
Raleigh/Durham, NC

Why African-Americans

The CDC has data that identifies African-Americans as not only more likely to develop myeloma than other populations, but also as being a particularly underserved community that often experiences a later-stage diagnosis than other populations.

How We Will Know That This Initiative Is Working

  • Growth in Support Groups, particularly the establishment of new groups in these targeted inner-city areas;
  • Increased hotline calls from previously undiagnosed or underserved patients, as well as their families, friends, and caregivers;
  • Higher web traffic to the areas of the IMF website that are focused on this program.

Where To Reach Out

The gateways to our targeted communities include:

  • Doctors (not limited to Hematologists and Oncologists, but any doctors treating this population);
  • Nurses at hospitals and clinics that serve the needs of these communities;
  • Social Workers at hospitals and clinics that serve the needs of these communities;
  • Any health care professionals who treat these communities;
  • Community groups in these metropolitan areas;
  • Church groups in these metropolitan areas;
  • Veterans Administration facilities that treat the popula-tions of these areas.

How To Reach Out

The IMF is proud to present an educational video entitled "I have myeloma... What's next?" funded by our CDC grant. This video was created to address the needs of African-American and other underserved communities. The video is hosted by sports broadcaster James Brown.

How Our CDC Grant Helps You

Remember, the IMF is here to help. If you live in one of the areas targeted by our initiative, this outreach is an opportunity to expand your myeloma community and welcome new people into your local support group. But no matter where you live, this educational outreach is vital. Increasing the number of people who are aware of myeloma increases not only the visibility of the disease, but also increases the number of people fighting to find a cure.

Note: Please contact the Principal Investigator, David Smith, with any questions you may have. David can be reached at dsmith@myeloma.org or 800-452-CURE (2873). The IMF Hotline Coordinators are also important resources for information and can be reached at the above number. The IMF Director of Support Groups, Andy Lebkuecher, is available to assist you as well — he can be reached at 404-353-7127 or imfsupport@charter.net.

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